OSHA Warehouse Falls from Pallet Fact Sheet
BRIEF INCIDENT DESCRIPTION
A warehouse worker was fatally injured after falling seven feet from a wooden pallet elevated by a forklift. The warehouse inventory was stored on steel storage racks with the highest shelves about eight feet above the concrete floor. It was common practice for warehouse workers to place one foot or both feet on a pallet and move inventory on the top shelf (see Figure 1) while a coworker lifted them to the top shelf using the forklift, even though the equipment was not designed for this purpose. At the time of the incident, the worker slipped on the pallet while moving inventory and fell. The worker was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries a few days later.
Controls were not in place to prevent workers from improperly using equipment and falling to the ground. Specifically, the employer did not:
• Provide workers with equipment for safely reaching inventory stored on elevated shelves.
• Follow manufacturer instructions and prohibit employees from using pallets on forklifts to access upper shelves.
• Provide training and certification to forklift operators on how to safely use and operate forklifts, including not using them to lift workers without an approved personnel lifting platform.
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